for bargains all night long. >> we started at about 10:00 p.m., and we've been going ever since. >> we go like out, like, 12:00 a.m. or 1:00 a.m. and really save a lot of money. >> sreenivasan: others were simply following a holiday tradition. >> i didn't come crazy early when it was mobbed, so i don't necessarily get the best deal on everything, but it's just getting out and seeing everybody and having fun. >> sreenivasan: across the country, many began their holiday shopping late thursday evening, as big box stores like target, walmart and toys "r" us opened hours before midnight, blurring the line between black friday and thanksgiving day. >> it's almost been like an arms race. first, it was 8:00, then 7:00, then 6:00, then 4:00 in the morning, then midnight. but we have to be responsive to the competitive environment. >> sreenivasan: retailers rely on november and december sales, which by themselves can account for more than a third of their annual revenues, and 40% to 50% percent of their yearly profits. >> this morning, we had lines that went all the way down to marshall's. the parking lot was full.